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Policies and Guidelines

University procurement activity is subject to a large number of federal and state regulations as well as Board of Regents policies. These laws and policies are intended to ensure integrity in the public procurement process, validate that the university is obtaining best value in its contracts and further the principles and mission of the university. Below are highlights and links to commonly referenced policies and highlighted topics. This is not an exhaustive list and many unique situations may be subject to laws and polices not listed here.

  • Purchases of Goods and Services; Supply Chain Management BFB-BUS-43 : This policy contains procurement and supply chain policies and procedures that govern campus procurement activity.
  • UC Terms and Conditions of Purchase : Suppliers are required to accept UC Terms and Conditions of Purchase as a condition of doing business with the university in order to ensure the university is compliant with Federal and State Law and Regental Policy.
  • Contracting for Services Guidelines : These systemwide guidelines describe how to contract out for services where university staff would be displaced. These guidelines do not apply to services covered by Regents Policy 5402 (Policy Generally Prohibiting Contracting for Services) or Article 5 of the AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Regents Policy 5402 (Policy Generally Prohibiting Contracting for Services): Policy specifically limits contracting out and provides guidance on very limited circumstances under which contracting out may be permitted.
  • Article 5 of the AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement: This CBA specifically limits contracting out for specific covered services.
  • Independent Contractor Guidelines : (Refer to UC Merced Human Resources Webpage for Location Specific Forms and Guidance) The purpose of this Guideline is to provide a summary of the criteria used to determine a worker's status under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) common law standards and details the penalties imposed by the IRS for the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. To assist in the determination of a worker's correct status for tax purposes, a compilation of IRS rulings and a Classification Worksheet are included as Exhibits. These Guidelines address federal tax compliance only. There are other state and federal laws regarding classification of workers as independent contractors or employees.
  • Uniform Guidance (UG ): Includes procurement requirements for purchases on Federal Grants.
  • Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) : Includes procurement requirements for purchases on Federal Contracts.
  • Compendium Of Conflict Of Interest And Integrity Policies – Guidance : Refer to policy language for description.
  • Appendix – Data Security (DS): In the course of providing the Goods and/or Services contemplated by the Agreement, Supplier may gain access to the University of California’s (UC) Institutional Information and/or IT Resources (both defined below). In such an event, UC and Supplier desire to appropriately protect Institutional Information and IT Resources. The purpose of this Appendix-Data Security is to specify Supplier’s cybersecurity and risk management responsibilities when Supplier has access to Institutional Information and/or IT Resources.
  • BFB-BUS-63: Insurance Requirements/Certificates of Insurance : This policy establishes the required insurance provisions to be included in contracts between Contractors/External Users and the university. These requirements must be included in the contract as a contractual obligation that must be complied with by the Contractor/External User before commencing work, providing goods, or using University facilities. This policy also provides general guidelines for minimum insurance requirements to be included in the contract and maintained by the Contractor/External User.
  • Small Business First (link is to BUS43 where requirements are described): The University of California spends billions of dollars each year procuring goods and services. The UC Sustainable Practices Policy ( establishes the goal of awarding 25% Economically and Socially Responsible (EaSR) spend annually to small and diverse owned businesses. California Public Contract Code Section 10508.5 allows the university to award purchase agreements valued up to $250,000 to a certified small business without being competitively bid, so long as the UC obtains price quotations from two or more certified small businesses. In support of these goals, the University has established the following Small Business First policy, effective as of September 1, 2020.
  • Prevailing Wage (link is to BUS43 where requirements are described): The Prevailing Wage is the specific wage rate set by the State of California Department of Industrial Relations for all workers on a Public Work according to the type of work and location. The Department also sets specific audit and reporting requirements encompassing production and retention of certified payroll. UC typically complies with these state requirements by policy. The federal government also establishes prevailing wage rates and reporting requirements applicable in certain instances utilizing federal funding. For federally funded services, UC will apply the more stringent prevailing wage requirements between federal and state law.
  • Fair Wage / Fair Work (link is to BUS43 where requirements are described): General Requirements: University of California requires that Suppliers of Fair Wage/Fair Work Services, including Suppliers of Public Works, pay their employees performing the Services no less than the UC Fair Wage.
  • Sustainable Practices : The Sustainable Practices Policy (“Policy”) establishes goals in nine areas of sustainable practices: green building, clean energy, transportation, climate protection, sustainable operations, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable procurement, sustainable foodservice, sustainable water systems.
  • Trademark Licensing Code of Conduct : It is the policy of the University of California (UC) that goods bearing the names of UC or its campuses, abbreviations of these names, logos, mascots, seals, or other trademarks owned by UC must be produced under fair, safe, and humane working conditions. Thus, all goods bearing UC trademarks, regardless of end use – including retail and promotional items, gifts, uniforms, or other uses – must be produced or otherwise sourced only through companies authorized, by virtue of a licensing or other agreement, to place UC trademarks onto products (e.g., apparel, school supplies, toys, and promotional goods). It is the responsibility of all UC employees and students ordering goods bearing UC’s name, logos or other UC-owned trademarks (including department names) to use only authorized licensees that have expressly agreed to adhere to this policy. Licensees must agree to the standards set forth in this policy throughout their supply chain and must responsibly manage a transparent supply chain.
  • BFB-BUS-29: Management and Control of University Equipment : This establishes requirements for prudent management and control of property defined as University Inventorial Equipment, Government Inventorial Equipment, Other Government Property, and Other Inventorial Items, which is owned by or in the custody of the Regents of the University of California, as well as property in the custody of the Department of Energy that is used by the University in conjunction with DOE projects managed by the University. These requirements are intended to ensure proper protection of and accounting for property owned by or in the custody of The Regents.
  • Travel Regulations : It is the policy of the University to comply with IRS regulations regarding the provision and reimbursement of business-related travel, and to conform to the IRS “accountable plan” rules.
  • Restricted Commodities Requiring Additional Approval: To comply with federal and state law along with UC policy, and to manage risks associated with specific commodities, this list of restricted items and associated approval groups has been developed to ensure appropriate controls exists and to streamline the review and decision process so it can be managed efficiently. For more frequently procured items, the appropriate approval groups have been added to restricted workflow approval in the Bobcat Buy procurement platform. Other less frequently procured items should be approved outside of Bobcat Buy before creating a purchase requisition. In this case, documentation of required approvals should be attached to the Bobcat Buy requisition for review by approvers. Requisition preparers/requisitioners must ensure the appropriate approval will occur in Bobcat Buy before submitting a requisition and must manually obtain and attach approval to the requisition if the approval is not part of the system approval structure.